Ahhh testing. I remember, when Dylan was in the Early Intervention program and she got their qualification testing done to benchmark where she was developmentally and see what benefits she qualified for.
I asked her physical therapist what the results were and she hesitated. We had become quite close as she was the one in the NICU sent to evaluate Dylan at only a couple weeks old. We were lucky to continue her services in our home.
She ask me “Are you okay with the results?” She was being genuine… testing me, to see how I would be able to handle the fact that my two-year old was still a baby. She explained that it was a test for kids of all abilities even fully functioning ‘typical’ children so there would be a lot of things that just don’t apply.
I brushed her concern off. Of course I was going to be okay with it! Of course! I knew what to expect, I know Dylan, I know that she can’t walk or talk, or eat, I love her. It’s fine. I was going to be fine hearing everything she had to say. And I was.
Fast forward to this week.
This week we finally completed the paper work to get Dylan on the waiting list for the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, DSPD. I was a bit of a slacker, many parents get their kids on the waiting list right away knowing it can take up to 7-9 years to get services (yep, you read that right, it’s a shame really…) but we had hesitated on Dylan because we didn’t really need anything. At Dylan’s IEP her teacher stressed that she get on this list simply because the waitlist was so long for services and when Dylan if out of the school system she will likely need services and by then they will be ready and waiting for her.
As one of the final processes in signing her up the school had to do, yep, you guessed it, testing. It’s a Psychological Evaluation and the school needed to give her one or show that they had attempted and give an explanation on why it couldn’t be completed.
I got the results last week. In the report it said that the evaluator was able to get Dylan to take a toy from his hand and to smile at him and that was it.
And with that, I finally got it. I finally got why Dylan’s PT was so worried about my feelings several years prior. I don’t know if I was feeling particularly sensitive that day or it was unexpected but it felt like a punch in the gut.
“But, she does so much more than that!” I couldn’t help yelling in my head.
So, as a confirmation to myself, and to parents like me. I want to reaffirm how little tests mean. I took that test, read it over, took the hit and then convinced myself that her ability to laugh and smile is more than enough.
After all, a test will never be the measurement of the value of a person.
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